In their continuing mission to steal all of our jobs, robots now have the ability to give you your next tattoo. Two enterprising French men have designed a robotic arm that successfully drew what they say are the first tattoos ever given by a robot to a human.
Weirdly, the following video opens with a disclaimer reading “WARNING: The activities in this video are performed by professionals. Do not attempt to recreate any activities performed in this video without consulting professionals first,” which I can safely say does not at all step on my plans to recreate these circumstances with an amateur robot, or at least without consulting a professional one.
Johan da Silveira and Pierre Emm began their dream with a 3D printer they called Tatoue, which they proceeded to mess around with a lot until it could put ink underneath your skin and make it stay there forever. Institutional support followed, and these days your tattoo can be rendered by a gigantic robot arm.
Watching the thing draw a perfect circle is rather mesmerizing:
The desired body part is first scanned, and the data then uploaded to the robot. Interestingly, the body part in question appears to be tightly strapped down, which we can only surmise is to make sure the guy getting tattooed does not move even a little and risk, at worst, the robot punching all the way through, or at best, a rather fucked-up tattoo.
According to the video, de Silveira and Emm are “working towards open-sourcing this sort of knowledge and working with other universities and research institutes to really open up this area of robotics.”
At the very least, it could probably save us from those horribly botched portrait tattoos that always end up making their way around the internet.